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The Guitar Mongoloid

One of the quirkiest Swedish films of recent memory, "The Guitar Mongoloid" has all the makings of a cult classic. Shot on a shoestring over several years, pic defies traditional norms of storytelling, making it a distant cousin to the films of iconoclast Roy Andersson ("Songs From the Second Floor"). A dark, but also humorous, depiction of a society with lonely people and sudden outbursts of violence, pic is ideal fest fare.

With:
With: Erik Rutstrom, Ola Sandstig, Britt-Marie Andersson, Julia Persdotter.

One of the quirkiest Swedish films of recent memory, “The Guitar Mongoloid” has all the makings of a cult classic. Shot on a shoestring over several years, pic defies traditional norms of storytelling, making it a distant cousin to the films of iconoclast Roy Andersson (“Songs From the Second Floor”). A dark, but also humorous, depiction of a society with lonely people and sudden outbursts of violence, pic is ideal fest fare.

In each sequence, the camera remains in a fixed position, recording events that unfold. On a roof, a young boy twists TV antennas so viewers’ reception goes fuzzy. A woman leaves her apartment, showing signs of compulsive behavior. A boy plays his guitar, screaming rather than singing the lyrics. Some young men destroy all the bicycles they can find. Two men in a kitchen try to convince a third man, whose face is digitally obscured, to participate in a game of Russian roulette. These people, and others, reappear throughout the film, which has no traditional narrative, instead describing moods and feelings in Sweden in the new millennium. Helmer-writer Ruben Ostlund shot new sequences when circumstances (including money) allowed.

The Guitar Mongoloid

Sweden

Production: A Trianglefilm release of a Hinden/Lanna-Ateljeerna production. (International sales: Hinden/Lanna-Ateljeerna, Stockholm.) Produced, directed, written by Ruben Ostlund.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Tibor Gent; editor, Harry Lewinsson; music, Bjorn Olsson; art director, Valeria Balogh. Original title: Gitarrmongot. Reviewed at Sture, Stockholm, Oct. 5, 2004. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Erik Rutstrom, Ola Sandstig, Britt-Marie Andersson, Julia Persdotter.

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